Seals are marine mammals. They are semiaquatic, which means they live both in the sea and on land. There are eighteen species of seals in the world, though only two of those species live in the Netherlands. Everything you would want to learn about the body and health of seals, the seal family, their history and the history of seals in the Netherlands can be found here.

Seal family

Seals belong to the order Carnivora, a group of mammals that kill and eat other animals to survive. There are 19 different seal species and they belong to one large family: Phocidae.


Seals in the Netherlands

Two types of seals live in the Netherlands, the common seal (Phoca vitulina) and the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus). These seal species are the largest predators in the Netherlands.


Seal fun facts

We get a lot of different questions about seals, from why grey seal pups are white to whether a seal drinks sea water. We have collected all those fun seal facts for you here.


History of seals

In the past, there were hardly any seals left in the Netherlands and even earlier seals were hunted. The Netherlands has a very turbulent and varied history when it comes to seals.

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Body & Health

The seal is the perfect submarine – on land they are clumsy, but underwater they are incredibly agile. They use their whiskers to hunt and can stay submerged for a long time. They can even sleep under water!